Saturday, August 27, 2016

Book Review: Return by Skye Malone

Return (The Awakened Fate Series #3) by Skye Malone
Blurb:
For Chloe, the ocean was supposed to mean safety and for a time, it almost did. She overcame the Sylphaen's drugs. She discovered an unforeseen attraction to Zeke, one that he shares for her. A life underwater seemed possible, until she learned that nothing was as it appeared.

After an unspeakable betrayal shattered everything she thought she knew about Zeke's world, she and Zeke have fled the ocean for the one place Chloe never expected to want to go.

Home.

But the challenge of living as a mermaid over a thousand miles from the ocean isn't the only problem facing her. Home has changed. Enemies are waiting, ones she never saw coming. Her little Kansas town is full of surprises.

Including Noah, the guy she left behind.

My Review: 
I received a copy of Return in exchange for an honest review.

With the Sylphaen still after Chloe, she and Zeke head for land. They believe if Chloe can stand being away from the ocean without getting sick the safest place for her will be back home in Kansas, and Zeke is determined to accompany her as far as he can stand it.

When they reach land Chloe and Zeke seek shelter at a house isolated in the woods, only to be attacked by Earl, the greliaran owner, who wants to get revenge against all dehaians after the death of his daughter.

Chloe and Zeke manage to escape and head East, but they're being tracked by Noah's crazy uncle and cousins. They make it as far as Nebraska before they have to call Chloe's parents to come get them, but sometimes home sweet home is anything but sweet. A whole new set of problems waits for Chloe and Zeke back in Chloe's hometown.

Can Chloe and Zeke trust Chloe's parents? Why are they acting so strange? How will Chloe react when she's face to face with Noah again and he's begging her to believe he didn't mean anything he said? Will Chloe and Zeke be able to escape their latest run-in with trouble before it's too late?

Return is a great addition to the Awakened Fate series! Sometimes when a series has 3 or more books the storyline begins to get stale or repetitive by book three or four but this series keeps being fresh and interesting. Yes, the Sylphaens are still after Chloe but in Return Chloe, Zeke, and Noah face new challenges and enemies.

I was shocked by the length Chloe's parents would go to to keep her under their control, but Chloe remained a strong character throughout all the horrors she faces in this book. Zeke and Noah are both crazy about Chloe and I'm dying to see who she picks in the end. I also really liked that we finally got to learn a little about the mysterious "beast" everyone is so worried about.

This book definitely doesn't disappoint, I loved it just as much as the first two books and I can't wait to see what happens in the next book. This series and this author's writing are quickly becoming my escape after a long day!

My Rating: 5 of 5 Stars

You can find Return on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, iBooks, and add to your TBR list on Goodreads!

Friday, August 26, 2016

INTO THE LIGHT Cover Reveal Sign-Up

I will be revealing the cover artwork of INTO THE LIGHT (Eternals Trilogy #2) during a Facebook event on Friday, September 16 - Saturday, September 17, 2016. You can RSVP to the event here:
https://www.facebook.com/events/282380252142329/

If you would like to help me reveal the cover by posting it on your blog, twitter account, or facebook page, please fill out the following form and I will send you all the information you will need the night before the big reveal! 


Thank you for your interest in helping me reveal the cover of INTO THE LIGHT! 

Thursday, August 25, 2016

"Book Mail" Thursday #2

             
   This week in the mail I got the last three books in the amazing Awakened Fate series by Skye Malone. I love this series and I've been reviewing it for the past month. Here's a little info about each book...

Return (The Awakened Fate Series #3) by Skye Malone
Blurb:
For Chloe, the ocean was supposed to mean safety and for a time, it almost did. She overcame the Sylphaen's drugs. She discovered an unforeseen attraction to Zeke, one that he shares for her. A life underwater seemed possible, until she learned that nothing was as it appeared.

After an unspeakable betrayal shattered everything she thought she knew about Zeke's world, she and Zeke have fled the ocean for the one place Chloe never expected to want to go.

Home.

But the challenge of living as a mermaid over a thousand miles from the ocean isn't the only problem facing her. Home has changed. Enemies are waiting, ones she never saw coming. Her little Kansas town is full of surprises.

Including Noah, the guy she left behind.

Arise (The Awakened Fate Series #4) by Skye Malone
Blurb:
Chloe hoped that going home would keep her enemies away from her. She thought she could trust her parents to protect her, no matter how much they feared mermaids and the ocean. 

It nearly cost her life to find out she was wrong. 

Surviving a mad scientist and Noah's bloodthirsty relatives was only the beginning, however. An ancient creature is after her, one that's risen from its sleep to hunt her, and one that almost destroyed the world last time it awoke. To save herself and everyone she loves, Chloe's only chance lies in traveling to meet Ellie's mysterious teacher, Olivia, one of the elusive landwalker elders. 

But Chloe has trusted people before. She's tried to escape the madness that's chasing her before. And nearly everybody who's learned her secret has ended up wanting to use her or kill her. 

Will Olivia's betrayal be next? 

Become (The Awakened Fate Series #5) by Skye Malone
Blurb:
After barely surviving another attack on her life, Chloe has only one option left. Magic given to her by the wizard Joseph offers her the chance to save the world from the ancient enemy she faces, but only if she sacrifices her ability to become a mermaid or else leaves the land behind forever. With no control over which side of her heritage she’ll become, Chloe may lose everything, including the two guys who both have claimed her heart.

But when a desperate message arrives, the stakes become even higher. Zeke has been captured. The Sylphaen surround him. And if Chloe tries to save him, Zeke’s brother promises to make certain she dies.

She’s running out of options and she’s running out of time. Zeke’s life hangs on one side of the balance and the fate of the world is on the other. Chloe has to make a choice.

One that will change her life forever.

Why Should You Read This Series?
This series is amazing, unique, and shows great imagination. I'm so grateful to have been given the opportunity to read this series and I'm unbelievably lucky to have found an author who's books I crave reading as much as I do with Skye's books. I love these books so much and I'm positive you will too! 
You can find the complete Awakened Fate Series on Amazon and all other major book retailers! 

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

"What I'm Reading" Wednesday #37

            This "WIR"-Wednesday I'm back in the world of Dehaians, Landwalkers, and Greliaran in Skye Malone's Awakened Fate Series...


Return (Awakened Fate Series #3) by Skye Malone
Blurb:
For Chloe, the ocean was supposed to mean safety and for a time, it almost did. She overcame the Sylphaen's drugs. She discovered an unforeseen attraction to Zeke, one that he shares for her. A life underwater seemed possible, until she learned that nothing was as it appeared.

After an unspeakable betrayal shattered everything she thought she knew about Zeke's world, she and Zeke have fled the ocean for the one place Chloe never expected to want to go.

Home.

But the challenge of living as a mermaid over a thousand miles from the ocean isn't the only problem facing her. Home has changed. Enemies are waiting, ones she never saw coming. Her little Kansas town is full of surprises.

Including Noah, the guy she left behind.

What I Think of This Book so far:
I love this series and each book in the series brings another set of complications to Chloe's new normal so the storyline doesn't get stale. Yes, the Sylphaen are still after Chloe... but they're not the only enemy she faces. She's quickly learning that sometimes home sweet home isn't so sweet after all... 
I love the romance blooming between Zeke and Chloe, but what will happen once Noah is back in the picture? And will anyone ever tell Baylie what's going on?? I guess I'll have to keep reading ;)

While I was waiting for the last three books in the Awakened Fate Series to arrive in the mail I spent my time reading a completely different type of book...

Claiming Addison (69 Bottles #1) by Zoey Derrick
Blurb:
For Addison Beltrand, PR rep for Bold International, Inc. climbing the corporate ladder is all that matters in life. Her hard work is finally rewarded with the promotion she’s worked her ass off to earn—but the gig comes at a price. She leaves in two days for a twelve-week tour with America’s hottest alternative rock band, 69 Bottles.

Talon Carver, lead singer of 69 Bottles, has no problem with women--as long as they’re gone by morning. When Addison shakes up his world, it’s a huge problem—compounded by the fact that Addison’s not the only one he wants.

Kyle Black, manager of 69 Bottles, has a secret. He and Addison are closer than she thinks, but telling her could keep her away. When Talon sets his sights on Addison, Kyle uses his secret to push her into Talon’s arms, only to discover she isn’t the only one he needs.

Two men. One dilemma. 

Talon is wild, reckless and loves control.

Kyle is calm, collected and loves passion.

The perfect balance…or Addison’s ultimate undoing? 

Talon and Kyle push their boundaries and Addison’s, but can they throw their reservations to the wind and claim her together?

Two men. One woman. A rock band. A tour bus. One Wild Ride…

My Review: 
Twenty-nine-year-old Addison Beltrand has thrown herself into her work as a PR rep to musicians, pushing away everything else - including her friends - ever since the death of her fiance seven years ago.

Now just before she's set to take a weekend off to spend with the girls her boss promotes her to a special case she believes she will excel at. The catch? They need her on the bus for the start of a twelve-week tour the day before Addison's set vacation.

Addison agrees and within days she's on a bus with the band she and her friends were going to see. Meeting the band, 69 Bottles, she meets the flirty, cocky Dex, the colorful Peacock, and the high-pitched voiced Mouse but it's the lead singer, Talon, and the band manager Kyle, that awaken something inside Addison she's set aside for too long.

Addison wants them both, and they want her - and each other. But Kyle has a secret tie to Addison's past and Talon has never been with the same woman twice. But their sexual chemistry is scorching. It's going to be a wild twelve weeks on the road!

I am surprised by how much I loved this book. I didn't think I would like it because it's definitely not the type of book I usually read but this book grabbed me by the second chapter and I couldn't get enough. The characters are charismatic and you love getting to know them and watching their unusual relationship develop. The sex is hot even though the conversation between Talon and Kyle a couple times made me want to laugh.

There were only a couple things that prevented me from giving this book a 5: throughout the book there were a few typos like the word should be "me" and the author had "be" or "his" came out as "is" - just simple things the proofreader should have caught. I loved the storyline but I question how the relationship between Addison, Talon, and Kyle could work out long term. I mean eventually someone is going to get jealous or the relationship between three will become a relationship of two, right? They can't just be together forever as three, can they? That's not realistic. The only other thing I didn't like was the cover. The female model looks like a cartoon laid against the two guys - but that's minor and not story related.

Overall, this is a sexy rock star read and I loved it! I'm eager to see what's going to happen in book two!

***Disclaimer: this book is not at all intended for readers under 18, due to strong sexual content. If you are under 18 do not purchase this book!***

My rating: 4.5 of 5 Stars

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Book Review: Under the Lights by Abbi Glines

Under the Lights by Abbi Glines
Blurb:
Willa can’t erase the bad decisions of her past that led her down the path she’s on now. But she can fight for forgiveness from her family. And she can protect herself by refusing to let anyone else get close to her.

High school quarterback and town golden boy Brady used to be the best of friends with Willa—she even had a crush on him when they were kids. But that’s all changed now: her life choices have made her a different person from the girl he used to know.

Gunner used to be friends with Willa and Brady, too. He too is larger than life and a high school football star—not to mention that his family basically owns the town of Lawton. He loves his life, and doesn’t care about anyone except himself. But Willa is the exception—and he understands the girl she’s become in a way no one else can.

As secrets come to light and hearts are broken, these former childhood friends must face the truth about growing up and falling in love…even if it means losing each other forever.

My Review: 
Under the Lights ripped me open and left me breathless!

I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

When 17-year old Willa Ames is released from a juvenile correctional facility and finds her bags packed on her mother's doorstep she calls the only person she has left, her grandmother "Nonna" - the woman who raised her for most of her life.

Nonna agrees to take Willa in as long as she stays away from boys, stays out of trouble, and keeps up with school. Nobody believes Willa about what happened that awful night and Willa cannot forgive herself. Returning to small town Lawton, Alabama means returning to the two friends she left behind, Gunner Lawton, the boy who lives in the big house, and Brady Higgens, the sweet boy she had a crush on six years ago.

Just like Willa, Brady and Gunner have changed a lot over the past six years. Brady is casually dating a girl he doesn't really like and Gunner has been playing the field and swearing off love. When Willa blows into town everything changes.

As the boys try to figure out their complicated feelings for their childhood friend, Willa struggles to put her dark past behind her. Gunner has always been Willa's friend, her confidante and when she left Lawton six years ago to live with her mother she was just beginning to have feelings for Brady; but Willa sees herself as too damaged to be deserving of either boy.

Will Willa ever be able to put the nightmares of the past behind her and allow herself to heal? What will happen when a scandalous family secret shakes up Gunner's life, will he confide in Willa once again? Will Willa allow either of the boys in?

Under the Lights is a beautifully written novel about friendship, love, and forgiving yourself. This book ripped me open emotionally and left me breathless. Willa and Gunner's struggles were realistic and the reader will be rooting for them throughout the book. Willa, Brady, and Gunner were characters that were easy to fall in love with. This book is easily one of my favorite Abbi Glines books and it reminded me a little of the Vincent Boys books, especially with the dynamic between Brady and Gunner and Gunner and his family. What I really liked about Under the Lights was that, like Abbi Glines's other books in other series, you can read Under the Lights as a standalone novel as well as within the series. I really wanted to read Until Friday Night, the first book in the Field Party series, but I haven't been able to find it in my local bookstores and I haven't gotten around to getting it off Amazon yet so I was afraid I'd be missing something when I started Under the Lights. Thankfully Willa, Gunner, and Brady's story is complete within this novel and I wasn't missing anything important from the first book. You can read this novel without missing a beat which is a major perk of reading books by this author.

Under the Lights is a must-read page-turner that will keep you gripped until the last page. The only thing I didn't completely love was the placement of Gunner's view of six years ago. It might have been more natural at the beginning of the book, but then maybe it would have been too telling, I'm not sure.

My Rating: 5 of 5 Stars

Book Info:
Under the Lights is available today, Tuesday, August 23, 2016, from Simon Pulse! You can buy it on Amazon in eBook and Hardcover!

Monday, August 22, 2016

Book Review: I'll Be Here by Yesenia Vargas

I'll Be Here (Matters of the Heart #2) by Yesenia Vargas
Blurb:
Katia hates love triangles. And now she’s in the middle of one… 

Just when Katia thinks she might be getting over Brian moving away again, he reappears in her life. And as if that wasn’t enough, her best friend, Adam, is also back for senior year. 

Adam is determined to show Katia that, unlike Brian, he’ll never let her down. But Brian won’t give up on Katia that easily. He regrets more than ever having left, and now he’s determined to win Katia’s heart back. 

Katia is torn between two good guys who have been there for her in the past, and she’s not sure what she feels for either of them anymore.

My Review:
I received a copy of I'll Be Here in exchange for an honest review.

Katia's life is just starting to get back to normal after Brian left with his family to go back to Mexico. Adam is back in school and she's trying to get back her friendship with him. Then Brian returns... again.

Both guys make it clear that they want to be with her and Katia finds herself in the middle of her worst nightmare... a love triangle. How is a girl supposed to figure things out while juggling school, SATs, and college decisions all at the same time?

Can Katia trust Brian again? Or will he end up breaking her heart and leaving again? Is it possible for Katia to feel more than just friendship for Adam? Or will she dash his hopes and hurt him and break their brittle friendship - possibly forever this time?

I wasn't sure what to expect from I'll Be Here but I have mixed emotions about it. Katia spends like the first chapter and a half of the book whining about how much she misses/loves Brian but then when he shows up she doesn't want anything to do with him. Then she spends the rest of the book being kind of wishy-washy and complaining about both guys liking her but at the same time a whole school year passes before she can make a decision. If Katia were a real person instead of a fictional character she seems like the type of girl guys get annoyed with for never just saying what they want.

This played a major factor in me disliking the first half to three-quarters of this book. The end redeemed the story and I'm satisfied with how Katia's story wraps up but it was touch and go there for me for a while.

Overall, I liked this book but because of the way the heroine of the story acted I didn't love it. I do recommend reading this book if you read book one and want to see how things wrap up.

My rating: 3.75 of 5 Stars

Get I'll Be Here for the Special Launch Price of 99¢ on Amazon this week only!

Friday, August 19, 2016

Marquette, Michigan: A Walking Tour Inside Out of Darkness

A couple weeks ago I took a short trip to the setting of Out of Darkness, Marquette, Michigan. Marquette, Michigan is the most populated city in Michigan's Upper Peninsula and the home of NMU (Northern Michigan University). On my trip, I meant to take pictures of the beautiful scenery as well as a few places mentioned in Out of Darkness to give readers a visual of Lizette's world. 

HOTplate Paint-Your-Own-Pottery
153 W. Washington St.
Marquette, Michigan
A paint your own pottery studio. 
OUT OF DARKNESS Reference: Keiran Madigan works at HOTplate firing pottery after it has been painted. 

Babycakes Muffin Company
223 W Washington St
 Marquette, Michigan
A coffee and muffin shop.
OUT OF DARKNESS Reference: Thierry Sebastian works at Babycakes, which in OUT OF DARKNESS sells cupcakes instead of muffins.

Holy Cross Orphanage
600 Altamont St. 
Marquette, Michigan
An abandoned orphanage that sits on a hill overlooking U.S. 41. Sadly this awesomely creepy looking building is in the process of being demolished. :(
OUT OF DARKNESS Reference: In OUT OF DARKNESS this building is combined with the D.J. Jacobetti Veteran's Home next door and used as the secret hangout spot of Lizette and her friends. 



Miner's Castle and Lover's Leap, The Pictured Rocks
The Pictured Rocks
Munising, Michigan
I didn't make it to the pictured rocks this trip, so I found these on their website: http://www.picturedrocks.com/
OUT OF DARKNESS Reference: Lizette and Thierry go on a date to Munising and drive out to Miner's Castle. Lover's Leap is also mentioned in OUT OF DARKNESS. Local legend has is that a couple displayed their love for each other by jumping off the top of the rock arch below together. 


Sadly the Weatherly house in the woods is just a figment of my imagination. But I think it would look a little like this (but enclosed with more trees)...

Other Beautiful Spots Not Mentioned in OUT OF DARKNESS (but may show up in one of the other books in the Eternals Trilogy)
Presque Isle Park, Marquette, Michigan

Presque Isle Park, Marquette, Michigan


Mattson Lower Harbor Park, Marquette, Michigan

Mattson Lower Harbor Park, Marquette, Michigan





PS. I found the Loch Ness Monster... and it's not in Scotland!

Be sure to get your copy of OUT OF DARKNESS before the second book in the ETERNALS TRILOGY, INTO THE LIGHT, hits bookshelves this December! 


Available in eBook, Paperback, and Hardcover!
Createspace Paperback: https://www.createspace.com/5985720